However, even small ulcers can cause a lot of pain and disturb the daily functioning of your body. Here is everything you need to know about Ulcers. 

Ulcers meaning

Generally, when we hear about ulcers, we often presume it has to do with some red blisters in the mouth that inflict great pain. However, ulcers are open sores found in the body’s interior and exterior. It is caused by a failure of the mucus membrane, which has failed to heal. An ulcer is an eroding break on the skin surface. For example, in peptic ulcers, the thick layer that occurs as mucus and saves the stomach from digestive juices is reduced, and it causes an ulcer. 

Ulcers Detection

Generally, when an ulcer grows in your mouth, it’s also almost visible to your physician. You can feel the burning sensation near the sore when you eat or chew food. The mouth and skin ulcers are easily detected because of their clear visibility. However, ulcers inside your body, such as peptic ulcers, are challenging to examine. Doctors may perform specific medical tests to diagnose them and know their medical history. Endoscopy is the most common of them all

In endoscopy, the doctor passes a thin tube through the esophagus with a lens to examine the stomach and small intestine. It is conducted to see whether there is ulcer bleeding or tissue damage. 

Ulcers Consultation

If the pain from the ulcers becomes unbearable, you must consult a specialist. Mouth ulcers mostly go untreated, and they may cause many problems while eating.

Here are some signs when you need to see a doctor or get an appointment.

  • Fever of 100.4° F or higher
  • Swelling, bleeding from any incision.
  • Difficulties in swallowing 
  • Sore throat for more than a couple of days
  • Stomach pain that does not go away
  • Tarry or bloody stools

Ulcers can be of several types, making diagnosing or treating them more difficult. An infection mainly causes them along with bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. Pylori) and many dosages in the long term of anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin. A peptic ulcer is caused by high stomach acid, leading to sore breakout-causing distress. Your primary care doctor will refer you to a specialist for better treatment.

A Gastroenterologist focuses on digestive disorders. They are the ones you can consult to treat an ulcer.  

Ulcers Symptoms

Depending upon the type and severity of the ulcer. The most common symptom is discomfort or irritation at the center of your chest and around the belly. It can last for a few minutes or even hours. 

Ulcers cause symptoms like 

  • Acid Reflux
  • Bloating
  • Slight pain in the stomach
  • Nausea 
  • Heartburn
  • Dark stools
  • Vomit but in a brownish color

These are some common symptoms that people face when they have an ulcer. Different symptoms can occur. For example, a person with a peptic ulcer might have much worse symptoms, which lead to a high risk of bleeding and need to be treated right away. Hence, it becomes imperative that you get checked up by the best gastroenterologist to prevent further damage.

Ulcers Precautions

Living with an ulcer can be tough and challenging. Hence, one should make conscious efforts to avoid getting them in the first place. Here are some measures you can take to prevent ulcers.

  • A good diet will always be at the top of the precaution list. Avoid eating anything that upsets your stomach. A mostly low intake of spicy food, citrus fruits, and food with fats is considered a good choice, or you can avoid that.
  • Smoking is injurious to health, but it also adds the risk of getting more ulcers than people who don’t smoke.
  • Ulcers may also develop as a result of  Alcohol abuse. Hence, it is advised that you quit drinking or drink moderately. 
  • Know how to manage your stress levelsExercise regularly and relax your mind in the most suitable ways possible.

Ulcers Medication

Medication is prescribed based on the ulcer type to kill the H. Pylori bacteria if it is present. While Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may give you temporary relief, it is advised that you stop their use. You should seek proper treatment from an expert to heal the growing ulcer.

  • Medications to control acid production and support healing.- 

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are calcium supplements that reduce acid flow by halting the action of the parts that produce it. The medication is prescribed as omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex).

  • Medications to reduce acid production.

Histamine (H-2) blockers are acid blockers. They reduce the amount of acid produced in the digestive tract to ease up the healing process and calm the ulcer’s pain.

A doctor may include it in the prescription to neutralize the existing stomach acid. It provides relief from the ulcers’ symptoms but does not help with the healing process.

  • Medications to protect the stomach lining and intestine.

Some prescription medications, sucralfate (Carafate) and misoprostol (Cytotec) are cytoprotective agents that safeguard the tissues in your stomach and small intestine.

Although ulcers can be challenging to manage, with the proper treatment, you can cope. 

Also Read: